Hot on the heels of Hornby’s ‘defrocked’ LMS ‘Duchess’ Pacifics come the streamlined versions – which are better detailed than ever before, writes Nigel Burkin.
Of the 38 Stanier ‘Princess Coronation’ (or ‘Duchess’) Pacifics, 24 were built with streamlined casings to improve performance and enhance the locomotives’ outward appearance for operating prestige express trains.
The first five, constructed in 1937, were finished in an attractive livery of Caledonian blue with silver horizontal stripes, and it is in this early form that the review model of the Hornby streamliner is finished, with single chimney and Type A welded tender fitted with extended side sheets to enhance the appearance.
These locomotives were intended to haul the ‘Coronation Scot’ service and the first of the class was named Coronation.
Streamlined examples of the class were numbered 6220-29 and 6235-48. There was a gap in the construction of streamlined locomotives in 1938 with the building of Nos. 6230-6234 without casings. As noted above, the first five locomotives were finished in blue, but LMS crimson lake with gilt lining was applied to Nos. 6225-29. By 1940, a third batch of 10 locomotives had been introduced, and those completed in 1943 were numbered 6245-48.
There were always doubts about the effectiveness of streamlining, both as a means of improving performance and fuel saving. It was concluded that it was less than effective at speeds under 80-90mph, and as one can imagine, the depot fitters found the casings awkward when it came to routine maintenance tasks.
Streamlining was removed in its entirety from all 24 locomotives from 1946, the last one, No. 6243 City of Lancaster, being ‘defrocked’ in 1948 while in BR ownership, offering an interesting transition locomotive to model!
As reported in the review of the Hornby semi-streamlined ‘Duchess’ locomotive model, traces of streamlining existed in the form of smaller forward cab windows and a taper in the top of the smokebox.
Upon ‘defrocking’, smoke deflectors were fitted to the locomotives, and eventually the tapered smokebox fronts were replaced by normal round ones as they passed through Crewe Works. One locomotive, No. 6229 Duchess of Hamilton, has been preserved in streamlined form, the replica casings being added at Tyseley in 2009 after restoration and overhaul.
For the full article and to view more images, see the February 2019 edition of Modelling – available now!
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